Guest Post – Nick Tingley, Author of The Bluebell Informant

cover-2How do you catch a killer who is already dead?

One year ago, the Bluebell Killer killed his last victim. He was shot and killed, leaving behind a legacy of twenty corpses and a name that people will fear for years to come…

A year later, a man is shot in the back of the head and left in a field of bluebells.
Is it a mugging gone wrong? A copycat killer? Or is the Bluebell Killer still out there, waiting to pounce on his next victim?

For DS Evelyn Giles the solution is simple – it’s just another dirty politician caught committing an unforgiveable crime. But with the evidence stacking up against him, Giles’ suspect has one more surprise in store for her…
And his words will throw everything she knows into question…

‘It’s not over yet.’

The past is coming back to haunt DS Giles. She’s already sacrificed much for the lie. The only question is how much more will she suffer for the truth?

An ingeniously, gripping thriller, The Bluebell Informant is a dark, unexpected and emotionally charged debut.

Please join me in welcoming Nick Tingley, author of The Bluebell Informant, to the blog today. He’s here to talk about the development of his protagonist, DS Evelyn Giles. Read on to hear what he has to say, and to find out how you can get a free Kindle copy of the book!

 

The Development of Character

 Female detectives are really beginning to come into their own lately. And why shouldn’t they? We live in a world where we’ve finally recognised that men and women are just as good (or bad) as each other – that their flaws have got absolutely nothing to do with gender differences and are more to do with most basic of facts – we are all human.

Female detectives are just as captivating and engaging as their male equivalents. Just as able to thrill and excite us. And yet, if I were to pick up a crime fiction book at random, I’d lay good money on the main detective being a man – and the chances are I’d walk away with a tidy profit. And the funny thing is that most of those characters are boring as hell.

So it may surprise you all to learn that when I first created the character of Detective Sergeant Evelyn Giles – the main character of my debut novel, The Bluebell Informant – she wasn’t a woman at all. She was a man. And not just any man either. Giles was a middle-class, white, stereotypical man, built with enough clichés that you could shake a big stick at…

Needless to say, it didn’t take long before I realised something was terribly wrong with that character. I was bored writing about him – I dreaded thinking about what my readers would have made of him if he ever made it to publication.

Here was a man who, from the outset, was fighting the good fight, battling corruption in his own police force, and yet I found him utterly disengaging. I didn’t believe that his colleagues all hated him and mocked him openly (his rank alone prevented that from happening). I couldn’t find anything to make me feel sorry for him – in fact everything he did made me only despise him more. There was absolutely no way that this character would exist in the circumstances that I created for him – not in any believable way at least.

So I decided to change something. The rank had to go, naturally – I can’t have officers being insubordinate to a DI (not all the time at any rate). And making him a woman seemed to go a long way as well – after all (despite our best intentions) we still live in a world where women are somehow taken less seriously than men.

I was on my way. But something still wasn’t right. I wanted Giles to be quite hard nosed, she’d be unlikely to feel too put out by a couple of sexist comments, not enough to prevent her from doing her job at least.  So I kept on plugging away. Each time I revisited the character, I’d change something else until finally she seemed to leap off the page and stopped becoming a fiction of my imagination and became a fully-fledged character in her own right.

Here was Detective Sergeant Evelyn Giles – the daughter of a Chinese political activist who was sent to Britain in tragic circumstances. She’s married to a good man, but her work always seems to get in the way. She enjoys baking and afternoon walks. She’s clever, she’s ambitious, and she looks like she is going to achieve great things…

But then something curious happened.

As this Giles stepped on to the crime scene when I began writing The Bluebell Informant, the world seemed to change around her. It wasn’t the world I envisaged when I first came up with the plot – even the story was changing. It was almost as though her presence was a critical factor driving the whole tale.

It was then that I was satisfied that my character was finished. It had taken a while, but I was finally in a place where I could trust my character to guide my story, to allow it to develop naturally, the way real life develops. The plot was the same, but the details were evolving, taking Giles on a completely different journey to the one I’d first imagined…

And I often find myself wondering whether that was my choice…

… Or Giles’…

 

About the Author
nick2
Nick R B Tingley is the author of the DS Evelyn Giles series. Having worked as a ghostwriter for some time, Nick is starting to produce work in his own right. His short story, Dressed to Deceive – a tale about a man who tries cover up a murder in the time of Jack the Ripper – won the 2015 Inkitt Fated Paradox Competition and continues to gather considerable acclaim.

The Bluebell Informant is his debut novel, which he is releasing for free. The second book, The Court of Obsessions will be released later this year.

 

Author Links

 

Purchase Links

(NOTE – as Amazon have not yet made The Bluebell Informant free on Kindle yet, I will be running a giveaway until this is changed. To receive a free kindle copy, go to http://eepurl.com/cJR58n )

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